Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Themes - Trutanich in trouble? Jackson rises, Conrad Murray convicted, Meyers muses

Trutanich's use of city-paid workers for political campaign activities questioned

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's campaign staffer spied on the
DA candidate's forum while Trutanich was a no-show
(click here to see original photo)
As previously reported, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich chickened out of attending the recent DA candidates' forum. When Trutanich's original claim that 'he was not invited' was challenged as yet another lie from the embattled former plaintiff's attorney, he changed his lame excuse to 'he was not officially invited,' prompting one commenter to question what form of invitation, exactly, the City Attorney expected; 'a calligraphic scroll with Trutanich's name embossed in gold foil?'

While Trutanich's stated reason for chickening out of being publicly humiliated for reneging on his promises are not likely to impress anyone but the most ill-informed, Trutanich made sure he was fully informed of events at the candidates' forum. City Attorney employee Dan Raskov, who receives over $1,000.00 a week of taxpayer money under an obscure contract to provide Trutanich with '... Grant and Alternative Funding Specialist' services, attended the DA candidates' forum, doubtless to report back to Trutanich on how the opposition is shaping up.

City Attorney contract employee Dan Raskov attended the DA candidates forum
and was seen making copious notes of the proceedings for his report to Trutanich
The use of taxpayer-funded city employees for political campaign activities is strictly prohibited, as is their use for personal purposes, such as the child minding and shopping errand scandals that wracked the Delgadillo administration. Trutanich will likely claim that his contracted employee was attending the forum and making notes in his 'personal time.'

However, given Trutanich's now well established reputation as a liar, and his incredulous responses to the recent BillboardGate and RentGate scandals, it's a claim that most believe would fail the straight-face test. It is a sad reality that Trutanich's credibility continues to plunge in the eyes of those who reasonably expected him to abide by his 'pledge to serve,' and are appalled at his apparent comfort level with reneging on his solemn, sworn promise to voters.

Equally, given Raskov's obscure job title and function, it is perhaps fair to question precisely the role that Raskov played at the candidate's forum. It might also be reasonable to ask for some accounting for the amount taxpayer funded time devoted to sourcing 'Grant and Alternative Funding' compared to the success, or lack thereof, of any efforts actually made in that regard. Apart from Trutanich being accused of funding his office with the proceeds of alleged 'extortion,' it is unclear precisely what 'Alternative Funding' activities remain within Raskov's purview.

Trutanich, who issues Press Releases like confetti, does not appear to have issued a press release lauding the success of Raskov's quest for 'Grant and Alternative Funding,' at least not according to the press release archive currently viewable on the City Attorney website.

In view of Trutanich's alleged commitment to 'transparency' and 'no politics at my desk' it certainly seems reasonable that the public receive some credible assurances that Raskov's political campaign activities are indeed separate from his taxpayer funded position, and that Raskov's position is a legitimate charge to taxpayers.

Jackson ramps up campaign with early mailers & phone bank

Coming to a mailbox near you... Thousands of mailers from Alan Jackson
are being received by high propensity voters as Jackson ups the stakes in his campaign.
While most of the candidates at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's forum were likely taking a breath from making their first public appearance last week, Alan Jackson's campaign wasted no time building on the momentum he received in his bid to become LA's next District Attorney. Thousands of campaign mailers were sent out to 'high propensity' voters likely to be impressed by Jackson's conservative candidacy.

In addition to the mailers, the Jackson campaign also launched a phone bank staffed by volunteers who will take the lead in making calls to LA County voters to promote Jackson's candidacy. While the script of the callers is a closely guarded secret, sources tell the Dragnet that portions of the script include references to Jackson's numerous law enforcement endorsements, his high-profile trial successes, and his Air Force background. It is understood that the phone bank volunteers have also been given a cheat-sheet list of broken promises and failures by Carmen Trutanich who is believed to be vying for the same group of voters.

The early initiation of a targeted campaign strategy is believed to have taken Jackson's opponents by surprise and is also understood to have impressed several key endorsers in law enforcement. Jackson's early moves could effectively capture the conservative voter base and thus ensure him a place in a  run-off that looks like pitching traditional values against the liberal values propounded by the opponents.

District Attorney's statement on conviction of Michael Jackson killer Dr. Conrad Murray

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley gave full credit for the successful prosecution of  to the hard work of Deputy District Attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Bazil in a short statement to the press, shortly after Murray was remanded into custody on Monday afternoon following the verdict.

Cooley's concise statement took commentators by surprise for the lack of self-aggrandizing and false credit-claiming that has come to be expected from City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who releases press statements like confetti, claims credit for cases that are not even handled by his office, and allegedly uses threats of imprisonment to try cases in the court of public opinion, rather than in a court of law.

The successful prosecution of Dr. Conrad Murray was the result of a well disciplined and competently managed team of law enforcement and prosecutors who prevailed in a court of law by the use of real evidence and legal reasoning, not the kind of ridiculous self-promoting and false promises that have become the Trutanich brand.

Danette Meyers to speak on alternatives to incarceration

Hot on the heels of securing a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Tyquan Knox, a former Crenshaw High football star, District Attorney candidate Danette Meyers will be lecturing about alternatives to incarceration at the Messerau Free Legal Clinic on Saturday, November 12, 2012 at the Morningside Church in South Los Angeles.

Meyers' spirited comments at the DA candidates' forum are likely to be repeated as Meyers continues to define her candidacy as a tough on crime reformer. Those attending might be surprised by what appears to be Meyers' campaign catchphrase; 'You might not like me, but you will respect me.'

We understand that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has not been officially invited to Messerau's Free Legal Clinic. Yet.



Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Nuch is pissed that questions are going to be asked that will make him sound guilty whatever he says. It was stupid of him to send Raskov to the forum, but he didn't think anyone would notice. Now it puts Raskov and Livesay's contracts under the microscope, not good for Nuch. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Jackson is on the ball. Is anyone else running a campaign?

Anonymous said...

Here's a mail piece: send out a copy of Trutanich's sworn and signed pledge to serve with a giant red diagonal stamp across the front saying "LIAR." Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain what a grant and alternative funding specialist does for $1,000 a week? I cannot find any record of the City Attorney getting any grants or alternative funding in the two years that they have been paying this guy.

It looks to me like Trutanich hired this guy for his political services and gave him a deliberately obscure job title so that Trutanich can pay his campaign staff with taxpayer money. He is sitting at the DA forum making notes, which is not what a member of the public would be doing, so he is obviously there for some work related purpose. I cannot imagine that there are any grants or alternative funds at a DA forum, so the only reasonable explanation appears to be that he is working for Trutanich's campaign by spying on the forum.

I hope someone asks the city controller to investigate this, and also explain why our money is being wasted.

Anonymous said...

Alan Jackson really has the Trutanich people worried, they cannot start their mailers or phone banks because Trutanich is still lying about not running. In the meantime Jackson is getting all the supporters that Trutanich wanted. It is a clever strategy and probably explains why Trutanich was booed and jeered when he showed up at the SFVRC meeting last week - they hate his guts.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised that Alan Jackson has taken the lead in starting the mailers and phone calls so early. He has been planning this run for DA for years and raised a ton of money to do it the right way. He was the most professional of the candidates at the forum, didn't stumble over his words or misspeak like nearly all the others, and knew exactly how to answer the questions. Jackson made the rest of the candidates look like amateurs and Trutanich looks like a scumbag for sending a spy to the forum.

Anonymous said...

1:09pm is right about Trutanich not being believed when he tries to claim Raskof was not working for him. You cannot believe a word Trutanich says about anything. He is the poster child for everything bad that is said about lawyers and politicians. How can you tell when Trutanich is telling the truth? His lips are not moving!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Joe Friday/Dragnet on this story which is another blockbuster around city hall. Many of the electeds have staffers with pretty shady job descriptions who are probably also politicals, but nobody has been as stupid as Trutanich to send such an individual to a public forum where they can be seen doing their masters dirty work. Recognizing this guy and then nailing him writing notes was either an amazing stroke of luck or genius, or both!

Most people at the City Attorney's Office hate Trutanich and his creepy entourage, and look forward to the end of the shame and disgrace he brings to the table. It was bad enough under Rocky, but Trutanich takes it to a whole new level. Just the sight of him makes you want to take a shower.

Anonymous said...

Nuch should have faced the music at the DA debate. Sending someone to spy was a chickenshit idea, not worthy of someone who aspires to be a leader. It is, I am sure, one of the many reasons Trutanich was thrown out of the SFV republican meeting. He is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Your point about Raskov is misleading. I was at the Da forum and there were many city and county employees in attendance. There is no rule against them attending, so what makes Nuch's employee any different? This blog has an unhealthy bias against Nuch and I am surprised that anyone bothers to read it and I have asked Google News to remove it from the feed.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 12:11PM:

You missed the point that all the candidates participating in the forum were County employees. If Dan Raskov was there on City time, then the candidates were CAMPAIGNING on County time, and David Berger was there, taking photographs on County time.

I disagree with your attempt to censor this Blog. Blatantly biased as it may be, Berger does have the right to write whatever he pleases.

Anonymous said...

1:25PM I think you have missed the point. LA county employees attending the forum are doing so outside of their hours of work - well established under the Personnel Polices Handbook as between 8am and 5pm. That is a fact. That is why the forum was organized to start at 7pm - well after work hours. The forum was organized by a DDA and a DCA who know the rules and are not as stupid as Trutanich who apparently either does not know the rules, or does not care if he breaks them.

The person identified as spying for Trutanich, according to the link to his contract, is not a LA county employee, neither is he a regular LA city employee. His contract does state any work hours for the $4,150 a month of taxpayer money he receives to do whatever he is employed to do - Trutanich's dirty work probably.

He was obviously there for Trutanich as witnessed by his note taking. I think the facts speak for themselves and clearly there will be questions to be answered not only because a city worker was involved in Trutanich's campaign, but also about exactly what he does for the money we pay him.

Good solid job reporting Joe F.

Anonymous said...

Taking a picture of the attendees given that you work for the D.A's office and this was a political event, strikes of facism.

I bet you're too chicken shit to print this.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Nuch had a fit when someone asked him if Razkof really does work for him. Billboards, office rent, and now using city employees to do campaign work, it's all beginning to look really bad for Nuch. Everyone's wondering how he could be so stupid. But we know that there are traitors in Nuch's camp leaking all these dark and dirty deeds. Wonder what's coming next.

Anonymous said...

@3:59PM you are a sick little puppy. There were at least 5 other reporters taking photos, all the campaigns had their own videos (didn't you see Mario's YouTube), and you are calling this fascist? The only think you are pissed at is that the Dragnet reporter nailed Nuch's spy, and caught him red handed too! Writing freakin notes! You might want to try a new strategy - the Big Lie thing is a bit outdated. Like Nuch.

Anonymous said...

@8:14PM - you missed the point. Newspaper photographers are assigned members of the fourth estate, and they only took and published photos of the candidates.

This blogger works for a Prosecutorial agency and was taking pictures of the audience with the obvious intention of intimidating those they don't like. Big difference. That's facism, and reminds me of Nazi Germany.

Also, going after staff to attack candidates is bush league. Next will they attack the candidates through their children?

Anonymous said...

@8:09PM They are not traitors, they are heroes. They made Rocky's life hell and they are doing the same thing with Nuch.

Anonymous said...

10:53PM Mr. Trutanich. The apparent ease with which you evoke the horrors of the Nazi regime is wholly inappropriate and deeply offensive to the victims of the Nazi genocide. You are trivializing the systematic mass murder of millions of innocent human beings to try to defend your failure to attend a candidates forum? What kind of inhuman monster are you? What kind of people support you and express views like this? Your statement says all that needs to be said about you and what you stand for.

Anonymous said...

7:49am Totally agree. Desperate people do desperate things.

Anonymous said...

@10:53PM I agree and I disagree. Sure, making a story out of campaign workers is usually off limits, they are just doing their job. Even if they do their job badly, it is generally not newsworthy. I also agree with you that Rascoff is clearly a member of Nuch's campaign staff, but I don't agree that he should be off limits.

The difference here is that Rascoff is paid by Trutanich's office, not by Trutanich's campaign. Worse, he's not paid in the regular way for a regular job, but rather for some obscure job of sourcing grant and alternate funding. Thing is, in the two years he has been on Nuch's payroll, there doesn't seem to have been much activity, let alone success in that regard. That makes his presence at the forum newsworthy and fair game because it shows the hypocrisy of Nuch in ducking out of the forum, shows what Rascoff's job really is, and suggests that Nuch is less than honest about the way he spends taxpayer funds. That clearly makes it newsworthy.

I don't think the Dragent was out of line reporting this. If the other reporters had known who Rascoff was, and also knew the details of his weird contract that gives him $1000 a week of our money to be Nuch's spy, then you can be fairly sure they would have not only taken photos, but also tried to interview him. Maybe he could point out the amount of grant money and alternate funding that he has brought to the city attorneys office, but I think we both know the answer to that.

Finally, I agree with the previous comments about the way you used the imagery of the Nazi regime to try to deflect the issue. If you think that will help your cause you are mistaken.